Coming up at Council, Kirkland Food Hotline Serves Residents, PSE Offers Bill Assistance to Customers Impacted by COVID-19, Community Engagement Appreciation Series Part 2, Celebrate Earth Month, Thanking our Hardworking Telecommunicators, and More!

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this week in kirkland

April 15, 2020

city of kirkland washington

Coming up at Council on Tuesday, April 21

City Council

The Kirkland City Council’s next “virtual” meeting takes place Tuesday, April 21. The meeting uses video conferencing technology provided by Zoom in response to Gov. Jay Inslee’s “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order. The regular business meeting begins at 7:30 p.m. and is preceded by a 5:30 p.m. study session.

The agenda for the April 21 meeting will be available on the City website prior to the meeting at: Kirkland City Council agendas. The meeting can be viewed in real time via the live stream on the City website at: and is televised on Comcast Cable Channel 21 and Frontier Cable Channel 31.

Here are a few highlights from the agenda:

Study Session Item: Safer Routes to School Action Plans Update

Council will receive an update on the Safer Routes to School Action Plan, which looks at how we can make it safer for children to walk and bike to school. This plan is being developed in partnership with the Lake Washington School District, law enforcement, design professionals, students, parents and community members.

Earth Month Proclamation

Mayor Penny Sweet and the City Council will proclaim April as Earth Month, in honor of the month-long environmental call-to-action meant to champion good environmental stewardship. For more about Earth Month and to play Earth Month Bingo, visit the City website.  

COVID-19 Update

Per an ongoing Council directive, the Council will receive an update from City Manager Kurt Triplett on the City’s continued response to COVID-19. The update will include the most current information from the City’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC) and updates on City operations. For more information on the City’s response to COVID-19, please visit the COVID-19 information webpage.

Emergency Management: Ordinance Relating to the Violation of a Lawful Order

The Council will contemplate Ordinance O-4724, which would make it a misdemeanor crime to knowingly and willfully violate the lawful order of a public officer in direct response to a proclaimed emergency or disaster affecting Kirkland. This Ordinance is in response to the COVID-19 pandemic but would apply to future proclamations of emergency in Kirkland. 

2020 Neighborhood Safety Program (NSP) Project Recommendations

Council will review the Neighborhood Safety Program project recommendations for 2020 and receive an update on the recommended street light projects for 2019.  Since the NSP’s inception in 2014, more than $2.7 million has been allocated to neighborhood safety projects throughout the City. 

2021 Capital Improvements Priorities

The Council will contemplate capital project prioritization through the lens of the COVID-19 outbreak, which has changed the economic landscape of the City and introduced unanticipated financial impacts. The prioritization framework is based on eight policy principles, which use a variety of tools including the 2019 – 2020 City Work Plan, the Police and Fire Strategic Plans and Council Goals, along with other plans and commitments to help guide the prioritization process.  

Community Safety Advisory Group Recommendation

Council will contemplate a Resolution accepting the Community Advisory Safety Group (ComSAG) report and directing City staff to conduct further public outreach. Additionally, the Council will receive initial feedback garnered through outreach to the ComSAG and will review questions slated for a proposed community survey regarding a potential fire and emergency medical services ballot measure.    

Communications Master Use Permit – Cingular Wireless PCS

Council will conduct a preliminary review of a proposed Communications Master Use Permit with New Cingular Wireless PCS, LLC, for an initial term of 10 years to facilitate its deployment of small cell wireless technology in the City.

Tree Code Enforcement Updates

Council will receive a briefing on proposed Kirkland Municipal Code (KMC) amendments relevant to Tree Code Enforcement standards. These amendments are related to draft amendments to KMC Chapter 95, entitled Tree Management and Required Landscaping.

Public Participation

As always, the Kirkland City Council welcomes public involvement at its meetings and would like to encourage community members to take advantage of its available options for remote participation, including the public comment voicemail line, at 425-587-3090, or the public comment email account at:

Comments received through voicemail and email by 3 p.m. Tuesday, April 21, will be read into the record during the Council Meeting, with the following caveats:

  • When and if a particular agenda item receives a large number of comments, the City will read into the record three (3) comments representing each side of the presented issue. The comments will be selected based on the date and time received, giving priority to the earliest received comments.
  • City leadership will read submitted emails verbatim up to a three (3) minute limit, exactly as if the commenter was providing their testimony in person. (Comments from the public received during “Items from the Audience” in a typical meeting are limited to three minutes in length.)
  • The deadline for comment submittal for inclusion in the meeting (provided the comment is not related to a heavily commented agenda item as outlined above) is 3 p.m. on Tuesday, April 21. NOTE: comments received after the deadline will be provided to the Councilmembers for their review at the City’s earliest convenience.

The Kirkland Food Hotline Serves Residents in Need

The City of Kirkland has partnered with Sound Generations to field calls from residents in need of food but who are unable to get any due to the impacts of COVID-19 on our community. When someone calls 425-207-4777, call center staff at Sound Generations will ask a few questions about the caller’s situation to connect them with needed services. The only requirement to receive assistance with food is to be a Kirkland resident. If callers cannot afford food, then volunteer drivers will pick up and deliver foodbank boxes. For those callers that can purchase food but have no way to get it, volunteer drivers will call back and arrange for meeting food needs. Please share this with friends, family and neighbors who might need this service.

For more resources, visit the City's webpage for resident support during COVID-19. 

Food hotline image

Puget Sound Energy (PSE) Offers Bill Assistance for Customers Impacted by COVID-19

PSE logo

Puget Sound Energy will make funds available to help customers who have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic through its Crisis-Affected Customer Assistance Program (CACAP). This includes customers who recently became unemployed, partially unemployed, or cannot work. The $11 million are carry-over funds under PSE’s Low Income Program. With approval from the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission, PSE made revisions to its program to make these funds available to a broader group of customers.

Funds are also available in PSE’s other assistance programs, including the Warm Home Fund, PSE Home Energy Lifeline Program and Weatherization Assistance Program for income-eligible customers.

This program will be available to PSE’s residential customers in Island, King, Kitsap, Kittitas, Lewis, Pierce, Skagit, Snohomish, Thurston and Whatcom counties who meet the household size and income criteria.  

Depending on average monthly usage, a qualified PSE customer:

  • Must have a monthly household income limit up to 250% of Federal Poverty Level
  • Can receive up to $1,000 in PSE utility-bill credits per household

This table outlines the monthly household income limits at the Federal Poverty Level for households up to 10 people.

PSE was able to launch this program with the help of Avertra, the company that developed the application process and did it at no charge, so more funding could be made available to customers.

PSE continues to offer payment plans and allow customers to change bill’s due date for those who may need additional assistance.

For more information on this program and other program offerings, visit

Community Engagement Appreciation Awards Series, Part 2 of 3

Community star

The City of Kirkland traditionally celebrates those who volunteer their time with the City at an annual April event.  While COVID-19 response is precipitating a postponement of this event, we take this opportunity to share these volunteer stories of outstanding service to the community.  This is the second of three in a series which recognizes City of Kirkland volunteers who have during the recent year gone the extra mile.

Above and Beyond the Call of Duty Award 

This award is given to the individual or group who has taken volunteerism to the next level with their participation and commitment. This volunteer takes extra initiative, contributes extra time, takes ownership of a project and demonstrates dedication to their assignment above and beyond what is expected.

Vince Armfield serves as the on-call Chaplain for both Kirkland Fire and Police Departments, offering comfort to Kirkland residents soon after they have lost a loved one, often unexpectedly and emotionally traumatic. He provides compassion, empathy and grace. Vince’s contributions allow first responders to perform their job functions knowing that the family is receiving extraordinary care. Vince is a true hero.

Ken Goodwin, a Green Kirkland Partnership volunteer since 2016, has demonstrated tenacity and positivity becoming a site lead (Steward) volunteer at an incredibly difficult habitat restoration site. Ken mentors young participants at his site and helps community volunteers realize the value of environmental stewardship.  Despite some site-related challenges, Ken approaches his charge with infectious good cheer and love of the land.

Randy Maes has volunteered with the City of Kirkland for two decades. When Kirkland Fire Corps was created, he assumed the role of photo-documenting fire and other emergency response scenes. These photographs have been used for training and post-incident analyses and continue to positively showcase the Kirkland Fire Department.

Susan Vossler has championed the Map Your Neighborhood program for several years. While Emergency Management transitioned, she maintained an active and committed position to prepare neighborhoods to work together during a disaster response.  Susan leads multiple facilitator trainings each year and meets with neighborhood after neighborhood. Through her dedication and efforts, Kirkland residents are better engaged with each other and the City.

The City Hall Front Information team of volunteers Dave Aubry, Bobbi Braesch, Edison Colio, Krista Fleming, Nancy Gode, Joie Goodwin, Shirley Hood and Deb Schadt are extremely dedicated to customers.  No matter the circumstance or scenario tossed at them, they rise to the challenge and provide outstanding customer service to City Hall walk-in and phone customers. Each is enthusiastic and extremely reliable.

While most new volunteer onboarding is currently on hold during COVID-19 response, feel free to contact Patrick Tefft, Volunteer Services Coordinator, to discuss these and other City of Kirkland volunteer opportunities. Be sure to check back next Wednesday (April 22) for the third and final installment in this inspiring Volunteer Appreciation series!

Celebrate Earth Month: Have You Hugged a Tree Today?

Image for Green Kirkland Day

Happy Earth and Arbor Month – two great things to celebrate! Trees are one of Kirkland’s greatest natural assets, not only in our local forests but also in our neighborhoods and in our yards. Kirkland is a Tree City USA (and has been for 17 years!) and the City continues to restore our urban forest and natural areas through the Green Kirkland Partnership program.

Trees are the workhorses of our landscape, quietly providing many benefits to the environment and our daily lives. Read on to learn more about some of the benefits, as well as actions you can take:

Trees make our water cleaner. Trees trap and hold rainwater in leaves, branches, bark, and root systems slowing the flow of rainwater runoff, which reduces flooding and erosion. By reducing runoff, trees keep pollution out of streams and protect your favorite swimming areas. Check out this interactive poster from the Arbor Day Foundation to learn more about how trees tame stormwater.

Trees keep us cool and reduce electric bills. Homes and businesses shaded by trees need less energy for cooling, reducing utility bills in the summer. When growing along a stream, trees also provide shade to help keep the water cool for fish and other aquatic wildlife. Visit the iTree website to calculate the value of a new tree on your own property.

Trees clean the air we breathe. We all know that trees produce oxygen and absorb carbon dioxide. Trees are natural air filters, too! Leaves collect dust and other particulates from the air, reducing pollution that can damage our lungs. Learn more about urban forests and air quality at the Vibrant Cities Lab, a U.S. Forest Service sponsored project.

Trees improve our mental health. Feeling down? Take a walk in the woods. Research studies show that access to nature and green space yields greater mental health overall. Visit Green Cities: Good Health for more brain-building research!

Trees fight climate change. Trees help reduce the effects of climate change by removing carbon dioxide from the air, storing carbon in the trees and soil, and releasing oxygen into the atmosphere. Visit Forterra’s Evergreen Carbon Capture Program to calculate your carbon footprint and learn how planting trees can help offset this impact.

Trees help you – and you can help trees! When sprucing up your yard this spring or fall, consider planting a tree as an investment in the health and beauty of your home and neighborhood. Take a look at this tree planting guide for tips on planting the right tree in the right place in your yard.  

So, next time you walk by your favorite tree, give it a hug. Or maybe a high five and a thank you!

Kirkland First Responders Extend Gratitude to NORCOM 911 in Honor of National Telecommunicators Week

This week is National Telecommunicators week and our first responders wanted to thank all of the people at NORCOM 911 for their important work!

Telecommunicators are the first heroes you speak to when you need help. They are the ones who get you the help you need. They stay on the telephone with you during your emergency and are the calm voice during your emergency. They may not respond to the calls, but they are just as dedicated to helping you as the first responders arriving at your house.

Additionally, during our COVID-19 response, NORCOM staff have been essential to keeping our first responders safe, informed, and in the proper personal protection equipment. Please join us in thanking them!

Dispatch thank you image

Cancelled Events

Because physical distancing is critical to stopping the spread of COVID-19, the following events are cancelled:

Recycling Collection Event
Saturday, May 16, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. 
Lake Washington Institute of Technology
11605 132nd Ave. N.E.
For more information, visit:

The Greater Kirkland Chamber of Commerce
All Chamber events through May 21 are cancelled
For more information, visit:

Kirkland Performance Center
All Kirkland Performance Center shows through April 30 are postponed
For more information, visit: